Activists from éirígí, Republican Network for Unity, The 32 County Sovereignty Movement, Republican Sinn Fein, the 1916 Societies and the Irish Republican Socialist Party as well as many non-aligned Republicans, Socialists, Anarchists and others all backed the decision to end the Moore Street occupation today. It was heartening to see so many people from so many political backgrounds reaching a logical decision that allowed us all to take a victory – something that doesn’t happen too often.
One week ago virtually nobody was talking about the state’s scandalous plans for Moore Street. Today it is being talked about all across Ireland and even the world. Mission accomplished.
Any further continuation of the occupation ran the risk of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. And that defeat could have taken the form of a serious accident in a hazard strewn site, a state black operation, an accidental fire or a serious collapse in one of the four protected buildings.
No’s 14, 15, 16 and 17 Moore Street are currently in a state of extreme disrepair, with many ceilings and floors in near collapse. Scores of acroprops and temporary wooden supports are in place in virtually every room across the four houses. The ground floor fronts of No’s 14, 15 and 16 are currently fully exposed to the elements, quite possible for the first time in almost a century. Rain water continues to flow into the buildings in a number of locations.
By occupying the site we protesters took on full responsibility for some of the most important buildings in Ireland, without the capacity to even protect them from the elements. The possibility of a major ceiling, floor or wall collapse during the course of a pro-longed occupation was probable rather than likely. And in the event of such a collapse who would the general public have blamed? And how would that have advanced the cause of the campaign to create a 1916 Quarter based upon the GPO / Moore Street battlefield area.
Who would fancy telling their grandkids that significant damage occurred to No 16 Moore Street on their watch?
Faced with this reality no Republican worthy of the name could justify a pro-longed occupation of the Moore Street site when the occupation had already so spectacularly highlighted the state’s intention to demolish No’s 13, 18 and 19.
The ending of the the Moore Street occupation has demonstrated that Republicans and other progressives, acting in a disciplined manner, can deliver a victory. And that it can be done without anyone getting hurt, arrested or jailed.
Winning one battle is not the same as winning the war, but it is a hell of a lot better than loosing every battle. The ‘why was the occupation ended’ question has been answered.
The real question that now needs to be answered is whose agenda would have been advanced by a pro-longed occupation?